One of my favorite recipes has long been this Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Tart. It’s simple, but the combination of onions cooked into buttery submission with nutty gruyere cheese on a flaky tart is irresistible. It’s always a huge hit with guests, but a little messy making it not conducive to passing for larger parties.
Enter these little bite-size versions. Instead of an open-faced tart, I wrap all that cheesy-onion goodness up in pastry dough and bake it into an empanada-like bite. It still has the flavor that I love from the original tart, but is much better suited as a passed appetizer.
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time you know that I am
partial to obsessed with making my own pastry dough. Yes, those refrigerated pie doughs are easy, but when flaky, buttery perfection is one’s end goal should one take shortcuts? No!
But isn’t there always an exception? I still like this recipe better with homemade pastry dough, but I found (and then lost sleep thinking “how could this be?”) that a store-bought crust is a little easier to work with for these small appetizers. The final result is more polished and the dough is easier to handle – both good things if you are making food for a nice party and/or you are planning on making, say, 200 of these things. Happy cooking!
Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Bites – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 36 appetizers
Feel free to use this recipe as a jumping off point for creating pastry bites with your favorite flavor combinations. Bites can also be made larger if desired. I like to pair larger bites with a mixed green salad for a nice dinner.
3 (1 ½ packages) store-bought refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 yellow onions, thinly sliced crosswise
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or thyme
1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for twenty minutes. Add the salt and pepper and continue cooking for another 10 to 20 minutes until the onions have caramelized and are a deep, golden brown. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the onions cool.
Once cool combine the onions, Gruyere and parsley (or thyme) in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Working with one pie crust at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut out approximately 12 rounds using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Place the rounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the fridge while you repeat the process with the remaining two pie crusts. You should have 3 dozen pastry dough rounds.
When ready to assemble the bites, make egg wash by whisking the egg with a little bit of milk in a small bowl. Remove the pie dough rounds from the refrigerator. Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of each round. Brush the edges of each round with egg wash and fold the edges up and press them together to seal. You may seal the edges with the tines of a fork or crimp them decoratively as I have done.
Once all the bites have been assembled brush them with egg wash and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Allow bites to cool for five minutes before serving. Enjoy!